I have the AC3 Zone controller, the FlexTT5 and the MiniTT1 pocket wizard units. I love that fact that I can shoot high sync flash during the day at a f/stop that is all the way open, just blurrrr that background to smithereens! What I don’t like is the power output of the strobe units that do work with the systems, I can almost never use a softbox and I have to keep my subject in the shade for the best effect. I then read that they had brought out the ST4 controller unit that will work with Elinchrom units and as a bonus due in fact them being all genius, it would sync your standard studio strobe at whatever speed you wanted it to sync to. IN OTHER WORDS, I could shoot with a full power studio strobe at f2.0 at a shutter speed of 1/8000 s. There were no words in my mind, just a big fat overgrown WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE going through every fibre in my body.
After dashing over to Orms in town, I sadly discovered that the PW ST4 Elinchrom unit does not work with my Elinchrom set, another set of words went flying through my mind but I would be banned from the internet for life if I displayed them here. I was shattered, almost heart broken with dispair. How could this be? I crave the power of full power studio strobe light but light from yonder window breaks! Yes I became all poetic and melancholic, I even bought a cape on eBay and howled at the moon.
2 weeks later, I dragged my bed ridden corpse out of the bathroom when the doorbell rang. I forgot that I had ordered a new power pack unit for my AlienBees strobe unit, the new vagabond mini. A smile creeped onto my face, I was content with joy. Plugged it in and low and behold it worked out of box, perfectly. Mini high 5’ed myself and I was good to go. But go where? Nowhere for the time being, too much work to catchup on. Then I noticed something, that made me notice something else, so I noticed that I had noticed something. My brain went: “Hmmmmm, I wonder what would happen if I stuck this thingy in that there hole?”
Ok for the non perverts I was referring to the mini strobe jack also known as the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Alienbees flash unit and the FlexTT5 sporting the same plug. So I connected the FlexTT5 to the flash port on the Alienbees unit with a male to male 3.5mm headphone cable. I mounted my MiniTT1 onto my Nikon D3 and pressed the button, I liked it and pressed it again and again and again and this is what happened…
Yes that is correct! ISO200, f2.8 at 1/500 sec on a Nikon D3! SYNCHRONIZING with an ALienbees flash unit AND an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra. YES YES YES, can you feel it?? HUH HUH HUH (You have to imagine the scene in Ace Ventura Pet Detective where he solves the crime in the hotel room, where Roger Pedactor fell to his death from. I was able to sync all the way upto 1/8000 s!
The next set of images have been shot with sunlight coming in through the window. The exposure for the sunlight was exactly at 1/2000 sec at f2.0, ISO 200 and the flash synced perfectly to balance the two. My Alienbees unit was set at an 1/8th of full power. The MiniTT1 unit was on my Nikon and the FlexTT5 was connected to the Alienbees unit via a 3.5mm cable. That’s it!
So in short, I was able to sync my Pocketwizard units with studio strobe units at 1/8000 of a second!! Think of the possibilities!!
UPDATE!: Added some photos I took of my brother with my Elinchrom flash at various settings.
Since being appointed as an official Profoto Brand Ambassador I have had the opportunity to play around and test the syncing abilities of Profoto gear. I am happy to announce that the Pocketwizards sync amazingly well with the Acute B 600R battery packs. They work all the way upto 1/8000th of a second at full power! You might have to play around with the offset timing in the configuration settings of your Flex TT5 unit but it’s very quick and easy. Remember that you have to have the Hypersync function switched on in the configuration settings via the Pocketwizard utility program.